14 December 2016 Military News
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 14 Dec 2016 [PDF]
- Department of Defense Press Briefing by Lt. Gen. Townsend via teleconference from Baghdad, Iraq DoD 14 Dec 2016 -- Presenter: Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve
- OIR Commander Describes Counter-ISIL Campaign's Successes AFPS 14 Dec 2016 -- In teleconference remarks from Baghdad today the commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve reported progress and success in the U.S.-coalition forces' campaign to bring lasting defeat to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
- U.S., Coalition Continue Strikes Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 14 Dec 2016 -- U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
- Compass Call targets ISIL through electronic attack AFNS 14 Dec 2016 -- Military operations are complex. Attacking an adversary requires significant coordination and communication between a commander and their fighters. The fog and friction of war means that even the best laid plans are often adapted on the fly, and competent leaders need the ability to redirect their forces in real-time in order to react to enemy actions. If a commander can't issue orders, his capabilities are severely degraded and his likelihood of success plummets.
- 'Abducted' Ex-Governor Accuses Afghan Vice President Of Ordering His Rape RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- A former governor has accused Afghan First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum of ordering his rape with an assault rifle and other forms of torture after he was abducted by Dostum and gunmen loyal to the ex-warlord.
- Afghanistan Continues to Fume over Russia's Outreach to Taliban VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- Officials and lawmakers in Afghanistan continue to question and denounce Russia's recent disclosure that it maintains "limited political" contacts with the Taliban.
Defense Policy / Programs
- MDA conducts SM-6 MRBM intercept test MDA 14 Dec 2016 -- The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), an Aegis baseline 9.C1 equipped destroyer, today successfully fired a salvo of two SM-6 Dual I missiles against a complex medium-range ballistic missile target, demonstrating the Sea Based Terminal endo-atmospheric defensive capability and meeting the test's primary objective.
- Secretary of the Navy Names Three Vessels DoD 14 Dec 2016 -- During a ceremony today at the District of Columbia city hall, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus formally announced the first ship of the new fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBN), formerly known as the Ohio-class replacement, will be named USS Columbia (SSBN 826) in honor of the District of Columbia.
- US, Japanese forces enhance interoperability, decision-making at Yama Sakura Army News 14 Dec 2016 -- The bilateral command post exercise Yama Sakura 71 concluded Tuesday in Japan, where U.S. forces and Soldiers with the Japanese Western Army trained together to defeat a near-peer competitor.
- SECDEF Visits USS Monterey NNS 14 Dec 2016 -- Secretary of Defense Ash Carter visited the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) pier side in Bahrain Dec. 10, to thank Sailors for their service during their seven-and-a-half month deployment.
- III MEF Commander addressed MV-22 incident off the coast of Okinawa USMC News Release 14 Dec 2016-- The Commanding General of III Marine Expeditionary Force, Lt Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, held a press conference here following the landing of an MV-22 Osprey in the shallow waters off the coast of Okinawa.
- Heavy Lifting: Landing Support Platoon refines external lift capabilities USMC News 14 Dec 2016 -- Marines with Landing Support Platoon, Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted annual helicopter support team and external load lift training Dec. 5-8, 2016, working with pilots from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced).
- Going to 'C' for the First Time NNS 14 Dec 2016 -- Keeping the squadron nickname, the Dragonslayers of HSC-11 went underway with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) to conduct carrier qualifications for the first time as an HSC squadron.
- Autonomous Swarmboats: New Missions, Safe Harbors NNS 14 Dec 2016 -- ARLINGTON, Va.-Autonomous unmanned swarming boats were put through their paces in a recent demonstration in the lower Chesapeake Bay-with results that show dramatic new possibilities for autonomy in future naval missions.
- USS Mason Concluded Visit to Spanish Naval Base NNS 14 Dec 2016 -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG), and the embarked detachment from the Swamp Foxes of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 concluded a multi-day port visit to Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain, Dec. 11.
- US Marine Corps Osprey crashes off Japan, injuring five Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- A US military aircraft with five service members on-board has crashed off Japan's Okinawa island, days after a Marine Corps F/A-18 pilot died in another crash in the Japanese territorial waters.
- U.S. Military required to suspend Osprey flights in Japan's Okinawa following accident People's Daily 14 Dec 2016 -- Japan has asked the U.S. military to suspend its Osprey flights in Okinawa following a major accident Tuesday night, said the Japanese government.
- Secretary of the Navy releases new Operations Security (OPSEC) Guidance NNS 14 Dec 2016 -- The Secretary of the Navy just issued ALNAV 072/16 to accompany the Department's new Operations Security (OPSEC) policy which was released 5 May 2016. The ALNAV is intended to spread the broad-reaching implications of the new policy to the widest possible operational audience, and communicated the provisions to personnel outside the traditional information warfare community.
- Montenegro Defense Ministry Expects Country to Become NATO Member by Spring 2017 Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Montenegro's bid for NATO membership will be put to vote at the country's parliament, where it is likely to be approved, making Montenegro a member of the alliance by spring of 2017, Montenegrin Defense Ministry said Wednesday in a statement.
- Russia Starts Development of Unmanned Tailsitter Aircraft Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Russia has begun the development of the unmanned Fazan tailsitter aircraft.
- Russian Helicopters Handed All Aircrafts Set for 2016 to Defense Ministry Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The Russian Helicopters holding has transferred to the Russian Defense Ministry all the Mi-28N, Mi-35M and Mi-26 helicopters, set to be delivered in 2016, the holding's press service said in a statement on Wednesday.
- Russia's Black Sea Fleet Forms Full-Strength Su-30SM Squadron in Crimea Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Russia's Black Sea Fleet has formed a full-strength squadron of 12 advanced Su-30SM multirole fighter jets in the country's southwestern region of Crimea, the fleet's spokesman said Wednesday.
- Russia To Draw On Sole Aircraft Carrier's Syria Experience To Build New Vessel RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- A senior lawmaker says Russia will draw on the checkered recent experience of its only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, when it builds a new carrier.
- The Philippines - AN/SPS-77 Sea Giraffe 3D Air Search Radars DSCA 14 Dec 2016 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the Philippines for AN/SPS-77 Sea Giraffe 3D Air Search Radars and related equipment, support, and training. The estimated cost is $25 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on December 12, 2016.
- Taiwan seeking to enhance defense capabilities CNA 14 Dec 2016 -- Taiwan's military is formulating a new national defense strategy to which the government plans to allocate more resources, in an effort to boost the country's defense capabilities, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Wednesday.
- Taiwan holds 'regular' air defense drill CNA 14 Dec 2016 -- Taiwan's military carried out an island wide air defense exercise on Wednesday morning, which the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said was part of annual drills aimed at familiarizing troops with air defense combat and related rapid response operations.
- Possibility of Chinese Navy ships circling Taiwan not ruled out CNA 14 Dec 2016 -- Following reports of Chinese military aircraft flying close to Taiwan airspace, questions as to whether Chinese Navy ships could follow suit in Taiwan's maritime zones were answered by Taiwan's coast guard head on Wednesday as "possible."
- Pakistani military test-fires medium-range cruise missile Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- Pakistan has successfully test-fired a revised version of a locally developed medium-range cruise missile.
- S Korean Court Demands Gov't Release Results of US Base Water Pollution Probe Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- A South Korea appeals court has ordered the government to disclose the results of the water pollution monitoring probes, which have been conducted near the US Forces Korea (USFK) army base, local media reported Wednesday.
- South Korea to Build Own Long-Range Air-to-Ground Missiles - Reports Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- South Korea will develop long-range air-to-ground missiles to effectively defend itself from growing North Korean military threats, South Korean agency Yonhap reported Wednesday with reference to the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
- S Korea Starts Construction of New Submarine Equipped With Ballistic Missiles Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- South Korea started on Wednesday construction of a new 3,000-tonne submarine that could be equipped with ballistic missiles, local media reported.
- Baltic States Pledge to Spend Two Percent of GDP on Defense by 2018 Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The defense budgets of all three Baltic states will reach 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2018 in accordance with NATO demands, with Latvia and Lithuania pledging to increase the defense spending, Estonia's Defense Minister Margus Tsahkna said on Wednesday.
- Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 12/14/2016 The White House 14 Dec 2016
- December 14, 2016 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 14 Dec 2016
- 14 December 2016 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 14 Dec 2016
- Security Council 'strongest when united,' says Secretary-General as he bids farewell UN News 14 Dec 2016 -- In its farewell to the outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council today acknowledged his contribution to international peace, security and development, in particular his exceptional efforts to solve international problems in economic, social, environmental and cultural fields.
- China urges U.S. to abide by commitment on S. China Sea issue People's Daily 14 Dec 2016 -- A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Wednesday urged the United States to keep its promise not to take a position on the South China Sea issue and do more to contribute to regional peace and stability.
- China Boosts Defenses on Artificial Islands VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- The Chinese military is building anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems on the artificial islands it has constructed in the South China Sea, in what analysts believe is a prelude to deploying combat aircraft to the disputed territory, according to a U.S. research organization.
- Vietnam: Chinese Postal Stamps Violate Sovereignty VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- Vietnam's central postal service has slammed China's recent issuance of stamps that they say violate Vietnam's sovereignty over the Spratly Islands in the territorially contested waters of the South China Sea.
- S. China Sea Dispute Hangs on Philippine Leadership of ASEAN VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- A bloc of 10 Southeast Asian nations has a chance to open tough discussions next year on how to handle China's contested expansion in the South China Sea as the Philippines, one of Beijing's chief maritime rivals, becomes the organization's chair with authority to set its 2017 agenda.
- US warns China against 'aggressive behavior' in South China Sea Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- The US has warned China against "aggressive behavior in the South China Sea," saying it would not accept Beijing's control of the region.
- Syrian Government 'palpably failing' to ensure safety of its people – UN human rights chief UN News 14 Dec 2016 -- Expressing shock at the apparent collapse of a deal enabling evacuation of thousands of civilians from eastern Aleppo, the United Nations human right chief said today that the resumption of extremely heavy bombardment by Syrian Government forces and their allies on civilian-populated areas "is almost certainly a violation of international law and most likely constitutes war crimes."
- Another Aleppo Cease-fire, Mass Evacuations Said to Be Imminent VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- Syrian rebels said late Wednesday that a new agreement has been reached to evacuate civilians and wounded war victims from eastern Aleppo, and that refugees are expected to begin leaving the rebel-held sector within hours.
- UN Alarmed by Reports of Renewed Fighting in Eastern Aleppo, Calls for Pause Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations is alarmed by reports of renewed fighting in Aleppo despite the announced ceasefire and calls for an urgent pause to allow civilians leave the city, a spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
- US General Says Daesh May Have Seized Anti-Aircraft Weapons in Palmyra Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- US Army General Stephen Townsend said that Daesh terrorists may have seized anti-aircraft weapons in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra.
- Assad Vows to Retake Palmyra After Liberating Aleppo Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian government forces will continue their offensive against terrorists and will regain control over Palmyra after liberating Aleppo, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday.
- Refugees to Return to Syria After War - President Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Syrian President Bashar Assad said Syrian refugees who are abroad would return to their homeland after the war, adding that the process already started.
- SPUTNIK EXCLUSIVE: Kurdish-Led Operation in Raqqa 'Saved Thousands of Civilians' Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are continuing their fight against Daesh in the Syrian city of Raqqa. In an exclusive interview with Sputnik Turkey, spokeswoman for the operation command group on Raqqa's liberation and commander of the Kurdish YPJ female battalion Cihan Sekh Ehmed commented on the current situation in the city.
- Daesh Attacking With 'Huge Manpower' in Palmyra Shows Foreign Support - Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Daesh's attack on the Syrian city of Palmyra was marked by the use of "different and huge" manpower and firepower, signifying that terrorists were helped by several states, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the RT broadcaster.
- Russian, Iranian Support Enhances Syrian Army's Determination to Fight - Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The support provided by Russia and Iran to Syrian army, which has been weakened by years of fighting, enhances its determination to defend the country, Syrian President Bashar Assad told RT broadcaster in an interview.
- Damascus' Goal in Syria Not Killings but Giving Normal Life Back to Citizens Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian government is denying the "US way" of dealing with terrorism through mass killings, and is instead trying to end the conflict by giving normal life back to citizens, Syrian President Bashar Assad told RT broadcaster in an interview.
- All Western Aid for Syria Sent to Terrorist Groups, Not Civilians - Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- All the aid that the western countries delivered to Syria was sent to terrorist organizations, which means that the West does not care about the Syrian people, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the RT broadcaster in an interview.
- Assad: US Lifting Ban on Arms Supplies to Syrian Rebels Linked to Palmyra Attack Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- US President Barack Obama may have begun weapons supplies to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition before he made an official announcement of this, the announcement itself is directly linked to the attack on the Syrian city of Palmyra, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the RT broadcaster.
- Syrian Society More Unified Than Ever - Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The society of Syria is more unified at present than it was before the civil war began, most Syrians would not accept anything related to the country's "disintegration," Syrian President Bashar Assad told the RT broadcaster.
- Daesh Weak by Itself, but Western, Regional Support Makes It Strong - Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The Daesh militant group is not powerful by itself, it is made strong by the support it receives from western and regional countries, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the RT broadcaster.
- Russia Never Interfered in Syria's Affairs - Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Russia may give advice to Syria but has never interfered in its affairs, being respectful to Damascus' sovereignty, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the RT broadcaster.
- Syrian Army Regains Control Over Heights Near Palmyra Military Airfield - Source Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian army has regained control over heights close to the T4 military airfield near Palmyra, a Syrian military source said.
- Syrian Army Sending Reinforcements to Military Airfield Near Palmyra - Reports Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The Syrian army's command decided to send reinforcements to the military airfield T4 located to the west of Palmyra, Syrian al-Watan newspaper reported on Wednesday citing informed sources.
- Daesh Producing Weapons in Iraqi Mosul on Industrial Scale Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Daesh has created a well-functioning industrial system for arms manufacturing in the occupied Iraqi northern city of Mosul, a UK-based monitoring organization said in a Wednesday report.
- Daesh Attacked Palmyra in Response to Syrian Army Advance in Aleppo - Assad Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Daesh terrorist group has attacked Palmyra in response to a successful advance of the Syrian government army in Aleppo, Syrian President Bashar Assad told the RT television broadcaster in an interview.
- West Seeks to Stop Syrian Attack on Daesh by Urging Russia to Pressure Damascus Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- The West is seeking to stop the Syrian army offensive against Daesh terrorist group by urging Russia to put pressure on Damascus, Syrian President Bashar Assad told RT television broadcaster in an interview.
- Air defense equipment, other arms in Daesh hands in Syria, US warns Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- The United States is warning that the Daesh Takfiri group may use new arms it has seized in the Syrian city of Palmyra.
- Iran's president lauds Aleppo liberation, urges support for anti-terror campaign Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has congratulated his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad on the liberation of Aleppo, saying it is the Islamic Republic's duty to support the "flag-bearers" of the fight against terrorism.
- Over 360 militants lay down arms in Aleppo: Russia Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- Hundreds of foreign-backed militants have laid down arms in Aleppo in the past 24 hours during which almost 6,000 civilians left terrorist-held districts of the Syrian city, the Russian Defense Ministry says.
- UN Says Syrian Forces, Allies 'Likely' Committing War Crimes In Aleppo RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations high commissioner for human rights says Syria and its allies, Russia and Iran, have almost certainly violated international law and probably committed war crimes by bombing civilians hoping to be evacuated from eastern Aleppo.
- Cease-Fire Holding In Aleppo But Planned Evacuation Of Rebel Areas Delayed RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- A cease-fire negotiated overnight between Russia, Syria, Turkey and Syrian rebel forces appeared to holding on December 14 but a planned evacuation of rebel fighters and civilians from Aleppo was delayed.
- US General: IS Captures Heavy Weapons in Palmyra VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- Islamic State militants captured heavy military weapons, possibly including air defense equipment, when they retook the Syrian town of Palmyra from Syrian and Russian forces, according to the U.S. general leading the fight against the terror group.
- UN Human Rights Chief 'Appalled' by Faltering Aleppo Evacuation Deal VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein says he is "appalled" by the apparent collapse of a cease-fire deal in Aleppo that would have allowed civilians to evacuate the war-torn Syrian city, where heavy fighting resumed on Wednesday.
- Aleppo Deal Calls for Evacuation of Civilians, Rebels VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- Evacuations of civilians and rebels were to begin Wednesday in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where a government ground offensive backed by Russia has squeezed opposition fighters from eastern neighborhoods they held since 2012.
- Daesh manufacturing arms on industrial scale with Turkish products Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- Recent findings have revealed that the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Iraq is manufacturing weapons on an industrial scale, with products largely purchased in bulk from Turkey.
- Monitoring Group: Jihadists Manufactured Weapons Ahead of Mosul Offensive VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- In the months leading up to the assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul, Islamic State militants manufactured tens of thousands of mortar rounds, rockets, bombs and ammunition – part of an industrial-scale enterprise across the self-styled caliphate that's been producing weaponry to a standard matching that of national armies, according to an arms monitoring group.
- UN rights chief urges establishment of hybrid court for atrocities in South Sudan UN News 14 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations human rights chief today urged the African Union to quickly establish the hybrid court for South Sudan to investigate and prosecute those bearing criminal responsibility for the atrocities.
- President Kiir Apologizes to South Sudanese for Past Mistakes VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- President Salva Kiir has asked the South Sudanese to forgive him for past mistakes. The president made the appeal Wednesday during an end-of-year speech before the National Legislative Assembly. He also ordered government forces to observe a cease-fire and create a conducive environment for communities to reconcile.
- Wife of S. Sudan Rebel Leader: Country Needs New Political Process VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- The wife of South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar says a 2015 deal to end the country's conflict can be "resuscitated" if the sides move to review and possibly change the agreement.
- South Sudan 'on brink of an all-out ethnic civil war,' UN warns Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- The United Nations says South Sudan may plunge into a widespread ethnic conflict that could affect the stability of the whole region.
- Rakhine Violence Testing Limits of Aung San Suu Kyi Leadership in Myanmar VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- Since coming to power nine months ago, Myanmar's de factor leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has represented the country at regional summits, met with the presidents of China and the United States, and supported the removal of longstanding economic sanctions.
- Dutch Court Rules Crimean Treasures Must Be Returned To Ukraine RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- A Dutch court has ruled that a priceless collection of gold artifacts from Crimea that were on loan to a Dutch museum when Russia occupied the peninsula must be returned to Ukraine.
- Central African Republic: Arbitrary killings, sexual violence cited in new UN human rights report UN News 14 Dec 2016 -- Central African Republic: Arbitrary killings, sexual violence cited in new UN human rights report Violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law in the Central African Republic (CAR), which include arbitrary killings, sexual violence and inhuman treatment, continue to plague the country, according to a United Nations report published today.
- Somalia Parliamentary Poll: Results in Races for 11 Seats Annulled VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- The panel that rules on election disputes in Somalia has thrown out the results in races for 11 seats in recent parliamentary elections because of numerous irregularities, including gunfire at a polling place.
- Former CIA Head Hayden Urges Trump to Be More Open to Intelligence Community VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- Former CIA Director Michael Hayden added his voice Wednesday to growing calls for President-elect Donald Trump to be more open to the intelligence community and to embrace findings that may be at odds with his personal beliefs.
- Trump's secretary of state pick shows intent to pursue warmer U.S.-Russian relations: White House People's Daily 14 Dec 2016 -- The White Housesaid on Tuesday U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state showed he wanted to pursue "warmer relations" with Russia.
- Kremlin expects no quick change in ties with new U.S. secretary of state People's Daily 14 Dec 2016 -- Russia's relations with the United States would not be changed overnight even if Rex Tillerson is confirmed as new U.S. secretary of state, the Kremlin said Wednesday.
- One-China principle cornerstone of peace, stability across Taiwan Strait: spokesperson People's Daily 14 Dec 2016 -- Adhering to the one-China principle is the political foundation to develop China-U.S. ties and a cornerstone for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, a Chinese government spokesperson said Wednesday.
- Analysts See Trump Comments on One China as Part of Bigger Game VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- President-elect Donald Trump's suggestion that the United States doesn't necessarily need to be bound by a "One China" policy, which was key to the establishment of diplomatic ties between Washington and Beijing, has the Chinese leadership on edge and some wondering whether a rethink is on the horizon regarding relations with Taiwan.
- Cabinet approves projects under 'New Southbound Policy' CNA 14 Dec 2016 -- The Cabinet on Wednesday gave approval for the implementation of a series of projects under the government's "New Southbound Policy," starting Jan. 1 next year.
- French FM says Trump's remarks over one-China policy "not clever" People's Daily 14 Dec 2016 -- U.S. president-elect Donald Trump's remarks questioning the one-China policy principle "is not clever," French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault said Wednesday, calling the upcoming Trump Administration "to avoid things spiralling out of control."
- China warns US against Taiwan recognition Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- China has warned that a change in the United States' adherence to the "One China" policy and in favor of the official recognition of Taiwan will harm bilateral ties between Beijing and Washington and "seriously" damage peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
- Can Navalny Trump Putin? RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- In his state-of-the-nation speech this year, Vladimir Putin boasted that Russia is immune to the antiestablishment fever sweeping the West.
- Labour MP claims Russian president interfered in Brexit referendum Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- A British lawmaker has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin might have had a hand in the Brexit referendum.
- Gambia's Jammeh must hand over power, UN official says Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- The Gambia's long-time President Yahya Jammeh must step down when his five-year mandate ends in January, the UN says.
- West African leaders fail to convince Gambia president to peacefully leave power Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- West African regional leaders have failed to convince Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh, who has lost and rejected the results of a recent presidential election, to allow power transition.
- Gambia: UN chief 'dismayed' at military takeover of electoral commission UN News 14 Dec 2016 -- Expressing dismay at the takeover of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) premises by the military in Gambia, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the security forces to immediately vacate the Commission and to refrain from any further acts that could jeopardise efforts towards the peaceful transfer of power.
- UN Chief Urges Gambian Forces to Vacate Electoral Commission VOA 14 Dec 2016 -- United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has condemned the takeover of Gambia's electoral commission by security forces and is calling on them to vacate the building immediately.
- Iran's nuclear-powered vessels not against JCPOA: White House IRNA 14 Dec 2016 -- The White House says Iran's decision to develop nuclear propellers for its marine vessels is not going to establish a contradiction to the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and major world powers.
- Iran will never bow to US sanctions: Senior official Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- A senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Islamic Republic will never cower in the face of the arbitrary restrictions, particularly those imposed on the country by the US.
- Saudi economic measures painful: King Salman Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has acknowledged that some of the economic measures adopted by the government in response to low oil prices are "painful," stressing, however, that the policies are needed to avert more complicated financial woes.
- Lower house of French parliament votes to extend state of emergency Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- The lower house of the French parliament has voted to extend a nation-wide state of emergency for another six months.
- Chinese fund invests 4 bln USD in Africa People's Daily 14 Dec 2016 -- The China Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund), an equity investment fund managed by China Development Bank, had invested 4 billion U.S. dollars in Africa as of the end of November, authorities said Wednesday.
- Philippine minister: Duterte exaggerated on killing criminals Press TV 14 Dec 2016 -- The Philippines' justice secretary says President Rodrigo Duterte has exaggerated by saying he used to kill criminals himself when he was a mayor to send a chilling warning to offenders.
- Mirziyaev Sworn In As Uzbekistan's President, Promises Shake-Up RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- Shavkat Mirziyaev has been sworn in as president of Uzbekistan, pledging continuity after the death of longtime autocrat Islam Karimov but also promising a major government reshuffle.
- Uzbekistan's Long-Distance Opposition Faces 'Crisis Of Legitimacy' RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- Two years ago, at an arena in Tashkent, 16 corrupt Uzbek traffic cops were dismissed after being made to sit uncomfortably -- alongside thousands of colleagues -- through a screening of their misdeeds caught on video.
- Macedonian Opposition Challenges Conservative Win In Elections RFE/RL 14 Dec 2016 -- Macedonia's opposition Social Democratic Union has challenged the results of the country's weekend parliamentary elections, in a bid to overturn a narrow win by the conservative ruling party.
- Turkish President Announces National Mobilization Following Istanbul Attack Sputnik 14 Dec 2016 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called for a national mobilization in the face of the terrorist threat following the recent terror attack in Istanbul.
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